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  • Adoption

    Adoption programs are inclusive of open, closed, customary, and international adoptions as well as other permanent custody or care arrangements and provide children/youth with legal and social stability. Customary adoption is a traditional indigenous practice recognized by some native communities that gives a child/youth a permanent parent-child relationship with someone other than the child’s/youth’s birth parent(s). Adoption programs ideally provide continuity of life-long relationships and maintain cultural identity.

    The adoption program promotes the active participation of all affected by the permanent placement, including the foster family, birth family, extended family, adoptive family, child/youth, advocate, caregivers, members of indigenous or other communities of origin, or other individuals who are significant to the child/youth. Services are based on the best interest of the child/youth.

    Programs can be delivered by public or indigenous child/youth welfare authorities, private licensed agencies, or licensed individuals.

    Signatories to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child must meet the identified requirements. These organizations must ensure the child’s/youth’s fundamental right to identity, family, and culture is addressed. When applicable, programs must also conform to the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act, Adoption and Safe Families Act, Multi-Ethnic Placement Act, Interethnic Adoption Provisions Act, Fostering Connections, Hague Convention, and the Act to Promote Safe and Stable Families, as well as all other applicable regulatory requirements.

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